Businesses are making big news in Vaughan recently. Last week, an article titled Vaughan breaks through 10,000-businesses ceiling was posted, highlighting Vaughan’s successful business expansion and employment growth. So you’re thinking… “That’s great for Vaughan, but what does it have to do with vivaNext?” Well let me explain by taking a closer look at the relationship between transit and economic development.
We know that in York Region’s Centres and Corridors strategy, municipalities including Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Markham and Vaughan are targeted to have new, urban “downtowns.” They will be vibrant, higher density, attractive destinations with a full range of amenities so that people can live, work, shop and play in the same community. Not only does that sound like a perfect place to live, but as a business owner, it also sounds like the ideal location for your business. And, having new jobs in our community provides options and helps reduce employee travel times to work.
Next we have to think about how people will get there. In high density urban environments, traffic congestion is an on-going issue, and with a wide range of demographics living in the same neighbourhoods, transit is the key link that connects us to where we need to go. That’s where transit comes in. VivaNext is building transportation “corridors” that will make it easier for people to get around the region. The vivaNext rapidways will run along the major corridors such as Davis Drive and Highway 7, linking to the centres with safe and efficient travel options for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.
For example, in Vaughan the Highway 7 West rapidway will be situated in the future Vaughan Metropolitan Centre [VMC] development area – the City’s new emerging urban downtown centre. In the VMC, mixed-use transit-oriented development is proposed along a tree-lined main street, and includes businesses, residences, entertainment and cultural facilities, as well as pedestrian shopping areas. It will be one of the largest and most ambitious development projects in the area’s history and connect to a variety of other transit services, including the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension [TYSSE].
Construction of the TYSSE is currently underway and is scheduled to be in service in 2016. The first phase of rapidway construction along Highway 7 is scheduled to be open at the same time, so that you can travel seamlessly from A to B.
This new transportation hub will not only include rapid transit options, it also includes convenient passenger pick-up and drop-off and an inter-regional bus terminal, 7. Residents, employees, employers and visitors alike will enjoy the mixed-use, transit-oriented development offered in the VMC area, as it becomes a destination to work, shop or relax, and getting there will be easy whether you walk or ride transit.